116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds joined 20 other Republican governors in a letter asking leaders in Congress to repeal the federal COVID-19 vaccine requirement for U.S. military members.
The requirement was enacted in August 2021 by President Joe Biden’s administration.
Reynolds and the other Republican governors are asking congressional leaders to repeal the mandate through the annual defense budget bill or in separate legislation.
“As governors, our ability to respond to natural disasters and conduct emergency operations is contingent upon the strength and size of our National Guard units. As Congressional leaders, it is your duty to provide for the national defense, and therefore, we call upon you to protect the men and women in uniform — who protect us — from an unnecessary vaccine mandate,” the letter reads.
The letter was sent to Democratic majority leaders Nancy Pelosi in the U.S. House and Chuck Schumer in the U.S. Senate, and Republican minority leaders Kevin McCarthy in the House and Mitch McConnell in the Senate.
Thirteen Republican senators, including Rand Paul of Kentucky and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have threatened to withhold approval for the defense budget bill unless it strips the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for the military, according to national reports.
Iowa’s Republican U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst are not among the 13 who signed a letter to McConnell saying they will not support the defense budget bill without a vote on the vaccine mandate.
District associate judge appointed
Kathryn Austin, of Eldora, was appointed a district associate judge in central Iowa.
Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Austin, who serves as an assistant county attorney in Marshall County, to Judicial District 2B, which includes Boone, Calhoun, Carroll, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Humboldt, Marshall, Pocahontas, Sac, Story, Webster and Wright counties.
Austin received her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University and her law degree from Michigan State University.